Rodanthi Tzanelli's Weblog

In this weblog I post updates on my teaching, research and publications, as well as other relevant academic activities.

Reading from Leeds ‘Lash, S and Urry, J. (1994) Economies of Signs & Space. London, Thousand Oaks, New Delhi: Sage’: A diary.

Reflexive mourning
This post summarises impressions from my zillionth reading of a book that has shaped the way I approach the social world. Not having received formal sociological education, save my undergraduate travails into anthropological theory and subsequent personal investment during and then continuously after my PhD in multiple the social sciences, meant that I needed a stimulus and concrete human inspiration to proceed in uncharted territory. John Urry’s work provided this, amongst other intellectually sophisticated voices. This time I read Economies of Signs and Space in three phases/acts: first like a Lacanian dreamer, allowing my unconscious to pick what matters most to me and kill what does not; then as a collector of impressions, in John’s sociological fashion, to generate a meaningful repository of ideas; and finally, like a Foucaultian archivist, who does some violence to past realities. I hope that those who dip into this post forgive me for my custom and the fact that Scott Lash takes a back seat in this narrative – he too is of course very important in my current work and I know well that his contribution to Economies was pivotal. I guess this post is my own tribute to John. It produces thanatourist pilgrimage in conjunction with a friend’s posting on Facebook of photographs from John’s funeral and wake. I am almost sure he would have appreciated the performance.